A R Walmsley Solicitors Sydney

DOCUMENTS & GUIDES...

FAMILY LAW PROPERTY SETTLEMENTS BY HANDSHAKE

John and Barbara had been married for 20 years. They had been living together for 25 years. All of their children were now self sufficient. Unfortunately, their marriage broke down. They had a home, some investments and two motor vehicles.

"What's the use of us wasting money on Lawyers?  We can do this ourselves" says John. Barbara agreed.

John borrowed some money and purchased Barbara's interest in the home. Barbara then signed the necessary documents to transfer her interest in the home to John. The cars were registered in their respective names and each kept their car. The investments consisted of shares and a public company and were in joint names. It was agreed the shares be divided equally. John was going to execute a share transfer to give Barbara half of the shares and Barbara was going to execute a similar transfer to give John half of the shares. Everything was absolutely easy.

The break down of the marriage had been painful and there was a large amount of residual anger. After Barbara left the matrimonial home she found out that John had cheated on her during the marriage. She became extremely angry. She now believed the property deal was unfair. John, on the other hand, was also angry as he had to pay stamp duty on the transfer of the house into his name. He received a letter from the relevant authority telling him that as there had been no Family Court Orders nor any evidence provided of a break down of the marriage, the transfer was subject to stamp duty.

Some time went by and neither party's anger abated. Both of them now felt deceived. Barbara then refused to transfer the shares out of the joint names unless John paid her additional money. John's anger escalated further.

John went to see a Lawyer who wrote to Barbara. Barbara was incensed by John getting legal advice. Barbara then engaged a Lawyer and the whole property issue which had supposedly settled two years previously was now re-opened. You can imagine how pleased John was to be embroiled in a property dispute two years down the track. In addition, the experienced Family Lawyer that John had engaged had to deliver the news to John that he might have to make a further payment to Barbara in order to bring the matter to a conclusion.

It is common for couples to settle their own Family Law issues. However, it is also common for Family Lawyers to become involved at some stage years down the track, after everybody initially thought a settlement had been achieved. The very point of obtaining Court Orders is to bring the matter to conclusion once and for all. It is important that a correct procedure is followed to finalise financial arrangements as this is the very point of dividing property. Nobody wants their ex-partner to come back and have a second bite of the cherry.

Good Family Law advice will provide you with security for the future.

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